Now that I am between work (euphemism for jobless), I am suddenly getting clued-in on the music scene again. For like a good 2 years now, I had fallen behind on what was “in” with respect to movies and music (a result of an insanely hectic corporate life). Heck, now I even know now what Justin Bieber’s latest song is and no I am not a fan…
When the music player in my gym conked off, the gym manager, smartly plugged the speaker to a television playing some music channel which played the latest releases. So that’s how I saw Norah Jones’ Miriam. While I didn’t take to it immediately, it stayed with me when I heard it a second time. I learned her latest album was called Little Broken Hearts and since I had really enjoyed her earlier albums, this one seemed like it was worth exploring. So that’s what I am listening to now. The music is refreshingly different from her other albums. Although I haven’t heard it enough number of times to have any favorites yet, I can safely say that this album is worth having in your car. I think this music should last me till Dido’s next album is out (she is done recording the vocals for her upcoming album, so I am guessing it should be another 2 months before she releases it). I am so looking forward to it.
I watched Gangs of Wasseypur 2 last Saturday and was thoroughly entertained despite all the shooting, violence and some really indulgent sequences which wouldn’t have lost their impact, even if they were trimmed, or so I thought. But I am guessing like most directors of new age cinema, Anurag Kashyap (AK) is heavily influenced by Quentin Tarantino and more specifically Pulp Fiction. So you know where all the excessive violence, the weird humor (imagine a brass band singer belting out relevant Bollywood numbers from the 80s in funerals making the audience burst out laughing in sombre scenes. Never letting sentiments get too heavy) those long conversation sequences, which make you want to say, cut to the chase man. But when I thought again I concluded that there must be a purpose to all those indulgences: to tease the audience and build anticipation when they are dying to know what happens next or sometimes even diffuse tension. I am amazed that nearly 18 years after it’s release, Pulp Fiction still manages to stay in people’s minds and influences the way they make movies. Vishal Bharadwaj once mentioned in his interview that Pulp Fiction messed up his mind and inspired him to make movies. I guess that’s what good art does, sometimes moves you to tears with it’s beauty, stays with you, intrigues you and at other times messes your mind and inspires you to chase your dreams, no matter how insane they are.
I am no authority, but Indian Cinema I believe has another actor to watch out for, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. There is an undeniable charm to him despite the stoned eyes, uncool mustache, skinny legs and the heavily accented rustic voice. He plays the character with a flamboyance befitting a rockstar and makes you root for him. He is a complete delight to watch. I guess this is what was missing in Part 1, you can’t really root for Manoj Bajpai’s character now can you? Richha Chaddha is another revelation, there’s something very striking about the girl. I first saw her in a Tata Sky ad., and even in those few seconds, she was supremely impressive. Of course it helped that her character was written so well, so strong, loyal and refreshingly different from the conventional filmi moms. I recently heard AK say on an interview that he hated the idea of the “girl next door” (read that sweet thing dripping with the milk of human goodness that everyone loves and Rani Mukherjee has played umpteen number of times). He said he found women who were bold, strong, and unapologetic about being themselves, very inspiring. Naturally these women are invariably judged by those around them. Ain’t that impressive? Makes me want to be one.
Getting back to the topic, one of the songs that stayed with me in the movie is Kaala re sung by Sneha Khanwalkar. I found it awfully sexy.
Listen to this one and tell me you agree. I have to learn this one :)!